Coming into my first consciousness, I heard rain drops and began to dread the day ahead. At 6:30AM, I got up and witnessed the first snow of the season. It’s snowing in NY people! Yes, it’s winter and yes, your body naturally prepares you for the cold months ahead by urging you to seek out those sweet and fatty food. You’re getting hungrier more often and you just want to chow down. Don’t listen! You might have excuses like,
I can let myself go because it’s the holiday season and I’m allowed to eat whatever I want.
It doesn’t matter if I gain a few pounds since all my clothing will cover it up.
Why fight it? My metabolism is already slowed down due to the cold, I should just skip working out altogether.
I need the fat for insulation.
I’m hungry and I just want to eat.
Trust me, you will definitely regret it by spring of next year. That’s exactly what happens to me every winter. But this year I’m determined to fight my urges and work out even MORE. It’s okay to have some fat for insulation because guess what? You can have fat and lose weight. You just need the right sort of fat. WHAT????
This research conducted by Mitchell A. Lazar, MD, PhD, director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania uncovered the existence of two types of fat – brown and white. What’s the difference? Apparently, a LOT. Brown fat cells, as opposed to white fat cells, make heat for the body and are thought to have evolved to help mammals cope with the cold.
Studies conducted with mice showed that through exercise, their muscle cells release a newly discovered hormone that the researchers named irisin. Irisin, in turn, converts white fat cells into brown ones. It was also discovered that lean people tend to have more brown fat than overweight or obese people. Brown fat is now thought to be more like muscle than like white fat. When activated, brown fat burns white fat. Just 2 ounces, if maximally stimulated, could burn off 300 to 500 calories a day — enough to lose up to a pound in a week. Another reason to stay lean and exercise!
Here are some other ways I stay warm:
- Hot yoga
- Eat spicy
- Eat soups and drink hot tea
- Blast the heat at home